Monday 12 Oct 2009
UNVEILED: NEW STATION AT THE HEART OF IMPROVED WEST HAMPSTEAD INTERCHANGE
- Region & Route:
- | North West & Central
Network Rail has unveiled the first official images of its planned new station building for West Hampstead Thameslink station.
The new entrance on Iverson Road will increase passenger capacity, ease congestion and improve the interchange with West Hampstead Overground and Underground stations. The project will also complete the new footbridge installed earlier this year, allowing step-free access to all platforms.
Alongside the new building, Network Rail also plans to make significant improvements to the pavement along Iverson Road and onto West End Lane – providing vital extra room for pedestrians and a new landscaped streetscape on Iverson Road.
A tree-lined walkway, incorporating existing mature trees and including new cycle racks, will offer a much wider footway and provide a more pleasant experience for people arriving and departing from West Hampstead Thameslink station. In addition, the removal of two commercial units owned by Network Rail on the corner of Iverson Road and West End Lane will eliminate a notorious pedestrian pinch-point and help improve the safety of the junction for pedestrians.
The station building itself will benefit from a ‘living roof’ planted with flowering sedum plants. Sedum provides an attractive environment for insects and birds, absorbs carbon dioxide and helps retain rainwater meaning that no irrigation is needed. As well as reducing the carbon footprint of the building, the living roof will also provide an attractive view from offices and residential properties on Iverson Road.
Jim Crawford, Network Rail’s major programme director for Thameslink, said: “The congestion-busting Thameslink upgrade will give passengers what they want – longer trains, more seats and better stations. Network Rail’s plans for West Hampstead Thameslink station and the surrounding area will benefit passengers, residents and the environment. Once complete, the station will be brighter, safer and able to handle the extra passengers that the new, longer trains will bring.”
Transport Minister Chris Mole said: “The Government is committed to investing in Britain’s railways and I’m pleased to see work on this £5.5bn programme surging ahead. Step free access and a bigger, better interchange between Thameslink, the Overground and Underground stations will help improve the travel experience for many passengers who use these routes each day."
Belen Martinez, Projects Director at First Capital Connect, said: "The plans for West Hampstead station are transformational - making the station ready for new, longer trains and easing the interchange between train, tube, bus and bicycle."
Network Rail’s proposals are fully integrated with Camden Council’s recently approved plans to improve the streetscape on Iverson Road and West End Lane which will improve the links between the three stations in West Hampstead. On Iverson Road, the council will provide a new pedestrian crossing outside the new station along with improved footways and tree planting. On West End Lane, the footways will be widened and the pedestrian crossings will be improved to make it easier and safer to cross the street.
The project is a key component of the council’s Placeshaping strategy for West Hampstead, which aims to make significant improvements to the area as a whole and to make West Hampstead more pleasant place for residents, businesses and visitors to West Hampstead. Camden Council’s improvements are jointly funded by the council and Transport for London and the project is anticipated to be completed in summer 2010.
The new station and plaza is planned for completion by summer 2010 and the demolition of two commercial units is planned to begin in March 2010. If funding can be secured, then the junction could be upgraded in spring 2011. Network Rail has agreed to forgo the future rent it would otherwise receive on these units in order to deliver the improved wider footways for commuters and residents in West Hampstead.
Network Rail will shortly submit its plans to the London Borough of Camden, but is also keen to hear from local residents and commuters about the new station. An informal drop-in session is being held on Wednesday 21st October from 2pm-8pm at West Hampstead Library, Dennington Park Road, London, NW6 1AU. All are welcome.
Mr Crawford continued: “Network Rail is excited about its plans for West Hampstead Thameslink station and we think local residents and rail passengers will be too. We want to know what people think about our plans and we look forward to seeing as many as possible at our drop-in session.”
Notes to editors
To find out more about plans for West Hampstead Thameslink station, members of the public can call Network Rail’s National Helpline on 08457 11 41 41, visit our website, www.networkrail.co.uk/thameslink, or email email@example.com.
The new station building and associated is funded by Network Rail as part of its £5.5bn Thameslink Programme which will massively increase capacity on north-south services through London. Platform extensions works at West Hampstead Thameslink station continue to press ahead on schedule, with new and longer 12 car trains coming into operation from December 2011.
Camden Council has recently approved plans to improve the street environment on Iverson Road and West End Lane; works will include making the footways wider, pedestrian crossings safer and installing durable paving and improved lighting. These plans have been developed in close partnership with Network Rail to ensure that the two projects are fully compatible and provide the best environment for residents, businesses and visitors to West Hampstead.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
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Network Rail press office - South East route
020 3357 7969
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.